At the bottom of this post, you’ll find the 2012 Candidate Pledge signed by fiscally conservative candidates who want to form a turnaround team for Stephenson County. But first, let’s take a look at a specific issue: Is the Citizens for Leadership Excellence PAC kidding?
In newspaper ads and at least one countywide mail piece, Citizens for Leadership Excellence has endorsed a number of local candidates, claiming that voting for this slate will bring “new leadership” to the County Board, and a vote for them is a vote for “More jobs, less taxes and improved public safety.”
New leadership…from eight incumbents who helped John Blum get us into this mess?
New leadership…from candidates who are either members of a the new party founded by John Blum or are “independents” selected by the Chairwoman of that new party, as she herself told the journal-Standard?
New leadership from Sheila Hooper, who has been in office in this county since before the Disco era? There’s nothing wrong with that, but…new leadership? Really?
More jobs, from people who brought us the Mill Race cornfield and years of wasteful spending on NIDA?
Lower taxes, from the people who brought us a 26% increase in the county portion of your tax bill in ten years?
Improved public safety, from the people who cut deputies so NIDA could hold meetings? From people who have publicly mocked the idea that we should increase law enforcement staffing?
New leadership…from the same old faces and new faces that have the same old ideas?
I don’t mean to be snide, but I have to ask: Are they kidding?
For those who really want new leadership, there is hope. Twenty candidates for County Board have signed a candidate pledge laying out path to better government. Here’s the pledge, and the list of those who have signed it:
2012 Candidate Pledge
Stephenson County Board
In order to change our County for the better, the undersigned candidates pledge to support and participate in the following actions:
1. Prioritize funding for Public Safety above funding worthwhile non-government entities.
2. Establish and present a new fiscal road map leading us to a County that is financially stable and is eliminating its debt.
3. As part of the road map above, improve spending practices with the overall goal of tax reduction.
4. Design and adopt a process allowing all issues to be fully reviewed and discussed no less than 30 days prior to a final vote.
5. Encourage public comment at board meetings and other forums on every item prior to a committee and/or board vote, to rebuild public trust and create a transparent environment.
6. Collect outstanding fines and fees due the county, presently in excess of $4,000,000.
Don Kraft, District B
Ed Mulligan, District C
Rebecca Quiggle, District C
Matthew Garvens, District D
William Hadley, District E
John Koester, District E
Christopher Clukey, District F
Ashley DeMeester, District G
Anthony Kuhlemeier, District G
Alvin Wire, District H
David Schexnayder, District H
James Schultz, District I
Kenneth Ward, District I
Sol Détente, District J
Brenda Lee Boynton, District K
Jim DeMeester, District K
Denise Kinney, District K
David Martindale, District L
Norman Truessel, District L
Jerry Clay, District L